MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 13,029 this week

Punishment Park (1971)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  1980 (West Germany)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 3,926 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 59 critic

"Punishment Park" is a pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews's news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies, draft dodgers, and anti-establishment types ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

with Prime Instant Video + 1 more

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb: What to Watch - The One I Love

Interview with Charlie McDowell and Mark Duplass


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 44 titles
created 22 Feb 2012
 
a list of 38 titles
created 23 Feb 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 13 Nov 2012
 
a list of 42 titles
created 31 Jan 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Punishment Park" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Punishment Park (1971)

Punishment Park (1971) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Punishment Park.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Battle of Culloden (TV Movie 1964)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A reconstruction of the Battle of Culloden, the last battle to take place on British soil, as if modern TV cameras were present.

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Tony Cosgrove, Olivier Espitalier-Noel, Don Fairservice
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

William Douglas Street is bored with his life. Working for his father is getting to him, his wife wants more money, and he's had enough. His solution is to re-invent himself. He becomes a ... See full summary »

Director: Wendell B. Harris Jr.
Stars: Wendell B. Harris Jr., Timothy Alvaro, Dave Barber
Gladiatorerna (1969)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Some time in the future, East and West have stopped maintaining standing armies and nuclear weapons. Instead, to settle their differences they pit different teams of crack combat specialists against each other.

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Arthur Pentelow, Frederick Danner, Hans Bendrik
Edvard Munch (TV Movie 1974)
Biography | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Following a rough chronology from 1884 to 1894, when Norwegian artist Edvard Munch began expressionism and established himself as northern Europe's most maligned and controversial artist, ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Geir Westby, Gro Fraas, Kerstii Allum
The War Game (1965)
Drama | Sci-Fi | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The War Game is a fictional, worst-case-scenario docu-drama about nuclear war and its aftermath in and around a typical English city. Although it won an Oscar for Best Documentary, it is ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Michael Aspel, Peter Graham, Kathy Staff
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An abused autistic boy is the sole witness to the kidnapping of a teenage heiress.

Director: Guerdon Trueblood
Stars: Tiffany Bolling, Ben Piazza, Susan Sennett
Cold Turkey (1971)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Hoping for positive publicity, a tobacco company offers $25 million to any American town that quits smoking for 30 days. Amidst a media frenzy, Eagle Rock, Iowa accepts the challenge while the company's PR man tries to sabotage the effort.

Director: Norman Lear
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Pippa Scott, Tom Poston
Certificate: GP Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Harold Pelham encounters a duplicate of himself in the aftermath of a car crash. After that moment his life is upset.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Roger Moore, Hildegard Neil, Alastair Mackenzie
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Eliane Annie Adalto, Pierre Barbieux, Bernard Bombeau
Drama | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A timid bank teller anticipates a bank robbery and steals the money himself before the crook arrives. When the sadistic crook realizes he's been fooled, he tracks down the teller and engages him in a cat-and-mouse chase for the cash.

Director: Daryl Duke
Stars: Elliott Gould, Christopher Plummer, Susannah York
Drama | Sci-Fi | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When the USA and Russia test atomic bombs at the same time, it knocks the Earth out its orbit and sends it spiraling toward the Sun.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Edward Judd, Janet Munro, Leo McKern
Radio On (1979)
Drama | Music | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Set in 1970's Britain, a man drives from London to Bristol to investigate his brother's death. The purpose of his trip is offset by his encounters with a series of odd people.

Director: Christopher Petit
Stars: David Beames, Lisa Kreuzer, Sandy Ratcliff
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Boland ...
First Tribunal Defendant
Kent Foreman ...
Defendant in the tribunal
...
Jay Kaufman, Tribunal Defendant
Luke Johnson ...
Defendant in the tribunal
Katherine Quittner ...
Nancy Smith
...
James Arthur Kohler, Tribunal Defendant
Stan Armsted ...
Charles Robbins
Mary Ellen Kleinhall ...
Allison Mitchner
Mark Keats ...
William C. Hoeger, Tribunal Chairman
Gladys Golden ...
Mary Jurgens, Tribunal Member
Sanford Golden ...
Sen. Harris
George Gregory ...
Mr. Keagan
Norman Sinclair ...
Alfred J. Sully - Tribunal Member
Sigmund Rich ...
Prof. Hazlett
Paul Rosenstein ...
Paul Reynolds - Tribunal Member
Edit

Storyline

"Punishment Park" is a pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews's news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies, draft dodgers, and anti-establishment types across the desert in a type of capture the flag game. The soldiers vow not to interfere with the rebels' progress and merely shepherd them along to their destination. At that point, having obtained their goal, they will be released. The film crew's coverage is meant to insure that the military's intentions are honorable. As the representatives of the 60's counter-culture get nearer to passing this arbitrary test, the soldiers become increasingly hostile, attempting to force the hippies out of their pacifist behavior. A lot of this film appears improvised and in several scenes real tempers seem to flare as some of the "acting" got overaggressive. This is a interesting exercise in situational ethics. The cinéma vérité style, hand-held camera, and ambiguous demands of the director - would the actors be ... Written by Dick Rockwell <dr1orok@atlas.moa.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1980 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Büntető park  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Whole movie was filmed using Eclair 16 mm camera. Theather cut and the version for released DVD is been blown up to 35 mm film. See more »

Goofs

In her tribunal closing statement, Alison Mitchner makes reference to the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, and uses the phrase "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". This phrase is in the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. See more »

Quotes

Documentarist: [while the US-Flag is waving in the desert:] Under the provision of Title 2 of the 1950 Internal Security Act, also known as the McCarran Act, the President of the United States of America is still authorized, without further approval by Congress to determine an event of insurrection within the United States and to declare the existence of an "internal security emergency". The President is then authorized to apprehend and detain each person as to whom there is reasonable ground to believe ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits at all. The title doesn't appear until halfway through the closing credits. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Punishment Is Worth It *Spoilers*
14 March 2006 | by (the outer reaches of your mind) – See all my reviews

Set in a California detention camp in an indistinct future, an English film crew capture proceedings as young students and political dissidents are put on trial under a fictional 'Insurrection Act' that allows the United States government to suspend civil liberties for its own citizens in cases of emergency without the right to bail or the necessity of evidence. In such cases the government is authorised to apprehend and detain anyone they believe may engage in future activities of sabotage. The group on trial includes a feminist, a black panther and a folk singer.

Those convicted by the a Conservative tribunal have the choice of a lengthy prison sentence or three days in Punishment Park, in which they can attain their freedom by reaching an American flag in the desert. They must accomplish this without food or water. They are also to be pursued by armed National Guards and police who can return them to the camp if captured to face the penal sentence attributed to each person convicted. The reality is different; those that choose Punishment Park are hunted and killed or brutalised with no hope of gaining their freedom after a policeman is found dead in the park. The park seems to be a training ground for the police and guards who need to master these acts of suppression so they can be put to use in open American society.

Shot on 16mm and in the documentary style developed by Watkins, in his celebrated Culloden and the controversial The War Game for the BBC; he interacts with the prisoners and guards and observes the unconstitutional trial, inter cutting between them to create a totally convincing political movie that still remains vital and relevant. Using his knowledge of the medium, Watkins has produced a driving, relentless and ultimately frightening film portrayal of an entirely fictional American political detention camp that would not convince if it wasn't for his flawless construction. Many of the actors are amateurs improvising with broad characters. The sparks fly in the trial scenes in which each case is heard, in part to the fact that Watkins kept those on trial away from the jury until the filming of those scenes. Watkins also claims that the actors are often expressing their own opinions which certainly explain the ferocity as well as the believability of their performances.

The film has been heavily criticised for polarising the opinions of those that see it. It has been claimed that the film is reactionary and unequivocally represents that conservatism and war are the root of America's social problems. While these criticisms may be valid it is important to consider that the film is working on a fictional, metaphorical level and it is perhaps the realism that the film so cleverly constructs that encourages such a heated opinion on its content. In fact the films most important theme is the problem of polarisation itself. The 'conservative' judges and brutal law officers are on one side and the 'liberal' convicts are clearly on the other with no concessions made on either side. This seems to be what the movie is really about. The new law and the park itself is the outgrowth of a situation where mediation between the two political positions has been lost.

Made during and in protest to the Vietnam War and the treatment of those who opposed the war in America the films main themes of Governmental persecution of its own citizens and Conservatism impinging on civil liberties still strike the same chord in the era of the Patriot act and the identity card. It also strikes a disturbing chord with news footage of Guantanamo Bay and the treatment of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of Allied forces.

The threat of internal 'terrorism' is such a volatile issue that the film cannot fail to connect with current attitudes to the subject. Not surprisingly the film has had a checkered distribution history, being marginalised to an extreme due to its content but the disturbing fact that this movie is that can still remain so relevant today suggests that the wait has not been for nothing. Punishment Park is a film that has had to fight to be seen anywhere and it demands your attention.


9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Unrealistic crevy
Is this film helpful or harmful? Mean_Joe_Weeks
8.1 but not on list IdontwatchtheOscars
NTSC DVD Available in the US DiabolikBlake
Death Camp Opera: it happens! jwer79
films like this make me laugh chaosbaron
Discuss Punishment Park (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?